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A Game Plan for Gimli

Title: A Game Plan for Gimli
Theme: young/ old
Elements: brave, dangerous, eager, splendid, wide
Summary:Gimli learns his immediate future plans
Word Count:1651

Authors notes: Standard disclaimer: not mine [character], all mine {mistakes}

Nonni - [2674-2922] wife of Thrain II resided in Ered Luin from the time of her marriage
@2643. {O/C}
Gimli - [TA2879-@FA120] Resided in Ered Luin until 2942, moved to new settlement in the
Beta by: Dancingkatz, she has made this so much better; strange to think it feels much more

She was nearing the end of what my people think of as an average lifespan. Not amazingly
old, but far from being midlife spry, she sat upright in her chair, every inch a queen. I
was pleasantly surprised to find that we shared a hair color; I would have thought that hers
would be silvered gray. At a worthy 216 years of age, she seemed ancient to my eleven
summers, but she was far from infirm and frail. As the eldest of the women, but more
importantly as the king’s mother and one of the most powerful individuals I had as yet met,
she held my future in her grasp. It was she who would decide when I would begin my formal
apprenticeship in this kingdom. The maiden who had answered my knock, picked up a large
sewing basket, and quietly left the room; we were alone, that may not be a good sign.

Taking a deep breath to try to still my nerves, I bowed low and spoke. “Queen Nonni, I am
honored. May I thank you again for the splendid birthing day gift? The shirt is wonderful

She snorted and smiled in what might have been satisfaction. “So Gimli, son of Gloin has
some manners, after all. I have set my ladies to their tasks so that I might have private
converse with you. Come closer and have a seat--no, here on this nice wide settle so that we
can be friendly. But first, pour us some lemonade. I’ll also have two of those sugared
biscuits, if you would be so kind.”

I tried to take a slow deep breath as I reached for a dainty plate and the small tongs lying
on the table in front of me. I reach deep into my memories and tried to remember all the
times I had watched my mother serve guest. Try to keep your fingers on the edges of the
plate, balance it on the palm of your hand, pinch the biscuit gently but completely [don’t
want it to fall mid-transfer], lay the first biscuit flat on the plate, lay the next one kind
of on top of over the first one. Lay down the tongs, turn slowly so that they stay on the
plate, extend it gently towards her. This isn’t going to badly; another deep breath. Select a
tumbler; careful, you almost knocked those others over. Nice even breathes while you pour so
nothing shakes and quivers. Hand her a serviette, take one for yourself. Now about half that
much for you, you don’t want to offend her by not eating; and mustn’t disgrace myself by
choking or….please, please, please, no upchucking.

“I don’t usually have this conversation with a young man until just prior to his teen
celebration. However, with the bloodlines that you represent—as well as what I hear of
recent events—I decided to speak with you a bit earlier. You have the potential to be one of
the stellar representatives of our race. Unfortunately, several individuals have been quite
eager to tell me of your ‘dangerous’ side; it seems that since your mother’s departure, you
have taken part in some rather improper adventures. I understand that you linger over-close
to the young ladies and are often crude in your language to them, as well as participating in
certain incidents that show you to be foolish rather than brave. Would you be denying any of
these things?”

“No, Your Majesty,” I replied. “I suppose that would be perhaps the politest way to look at
my behavior over the last year.” I found myself fidgeting a bit before I continued. “I tell
you truly, ma’am that the trip over the waterfall in the beer barrel has taught me that I
need to stop and consider things a bit more clearly before I execute any more… er… plans.” I
tried not to cringe visibly as I remembered just how painful that landing was; and then of
course there had been the embarrassment of facing my father with the remnants of his spare
brewing barrel.

“Good, then I will not have as hard a time teaching you the error of your ways as I suspected
I might. Beginning tomorrow and until I assign you an apprenticeship, you will report here
immediately after break of fast and serve me in what in most courts would consider the role
of a page. I will expect you to be in nice everyday attire, not high dress as for court
functions—but not anything in need of repair or in otherwise poor condition.” She waited for
my nod before going on. “You will be learning the etiquette and social graces that I deem
necessary for diplomatic trainees. Once you have proven your penmanship you will be writing
out my correspondence. Also, there will be occasions when you will be required to entertain
me; things such as reading, poetry recitals, or musical renderings. You should have at least
a rudimentary knowledge of three instruments of different musical families. You may spend
this week evaluating your choices. I myself play the harp, the trombone, and of course,
tambourine. You might want to consider how what you play could compliment or contrast with
my own playing. I am not offering to teach you mind, but will make sure that lessons are
available if you require them. Your normal classroom hours will be kept and I require you to
keep above average marks in all your subjects as well as in your deportment.” She began
taking delicate sips from her tumbler.

“You can probably tell I really don’t have a good voice. My mother played the harp, too. Do
you think that it would upset my father if I were to learn it? Would violin count as a
different family from the harp? I think that my father may have once played the xylophone; I
think that’s what is in that case in the storage closet. Could those be my
instruments?...because otherwise I’d have to find a way to earn enough money to buy any others.”

“Generally speaking, a harp and a violin are from the string family; but for now we will
allow the instruments you named to be your three. It is very wise that you not suggest that
your father buy you new instruments; shows that you are capable of thinking of other peoples’
welfare and convenience. Your voice will improve by doing the things that I have outlined as
these are necessary steps for anyone desiring to train their vocal talents. Also, your voice
will change and mature over time as will your body. We will work with what you have been
given. Do you have any other questions?”

“Um, yes ma’am. Does my father know of your plans for me, your Majesty? You see, I’m
supposed to spend the next three weeks manning the bellows and cleaning the forge as my
punishment for taking his empty beer barrel.”

“I quite understand, lad; I will discuss this with him later today. I’ll have him tell you
what day you will begin your training with me afterwards. Now, as a penalty for your
misbehavior forcing me to change my arrangements, you will tell me about this trip over the
falls. No one has yet brought any details to my attention. I would be entertained for
awhile, young Gimli, and from your blushes it appears that there is a good tale in the
offing.” She settled herself more comfortably on her settle and gestured with a hand. “Over
in that cupboard is a cask of cooled ale. Fill a mug for me. You, however, will have to
make do with lemonade whilst you are learning to treat all females as ladies, regardless of
their behavior.”

The queen waited until I handed her the mug before speaking again. “Diplomacy and tact; they
will make you or break you, young Gimli. Just wait and see.”


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
Wow! I don't know whether to congratulate little Gimli or to commiserate with him. It sounds like the Queen may have her own bit of foresight, to realize that this is preparation that this particular young Dwarf is going to need!

I really like this story, and would not mind seeing some follow-ups to his time with Queen Nonni!

Taking a beer barrel down a waterfall, eh? *shakes head* Poor Gloin!!

Honestly? Nancy, I think that this is the best story of yours I've see yet! Very well-done!
Sep. 15th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
much thanks. already e-mailed yours to dancingkatz, she deserves every praise,she polished my little stone into a gem. i will see if queen nonni wants to play soon. thank you.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 16th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
so kind of you to care. thanks.
Sep. 17th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this story.It is quite unique.
Sep. 17th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
unique seems to be my tagline thank you.
Sep. 17th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
I agree with everyone - unique story indeed! Thank you for sharing it!
Sep. 18th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
you're velcome
Sep. 19th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
Very entertaining, nancylea :-) There are not many Gimli stories, and fewer still of his life before the Quest. This was wonderfully done!
Sep. 19th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
true i looked and looked when i started reading and gimli is much ignored as a major player.
Sep. 20th, 2008 07:48 am (UTC)
Eleven, and already being crude in front of Dwarf ladies? Heh!

Love the idea of the Queen taking over his education and anticipating an entertaining tale of the adventure in the beer barrel!

A delight, Nancy.
Sep. 23rd, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
thank you.
Sep. 26th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
What a fascinating look into Dwarf culture! And a very unique take on the young/old challenge here! Very nice!
Sep. 26th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
it was fun getting it here
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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